BASW has adapted our priorities and services to meet the needs of our members and wider social work workforce during the coronavirus pandemic.
We are using our influence to support social workers and the communities we serve during the pandemic
Priority areas include PPE, testing, support and guidance, support for vulnerable groups and recognition for social work. A full list of priority areas is below.
- Captured feedback from 2070 social workers (at 1 June 2020) to hear what the issues are, and continue to collect feedback to highlight to social work leaders what the priorities for social work are.
- Upholding Human Rights during Covid-19. The pandemic is exposing great inequality in impact and in human rights protection across the UK. BASW sets out urgent concerns and demands on upholding Human Rights during Covid-19. Published 27 April 2020
- Shared an open letter to the Prime Minister calling for PPE, priority testing for social workers, supporting social workers back into the workforce, supporting vulnerable groups and whilst it is good news that social workers are recognised as key workers – we want more acknowledgment of the important work social workers do.
- We have now received responses to letters sent to both Clara Swinson (Director General for Public and Global Health and DHSC) and Yvonne Doyle (Medical Director for Public Health England). ‘No public health without social health’. Sets our our response that social work’s role in public health is not well recognised and does not seem to be an embedded part of national public health thinking or strategy. Published 13 May 2020
- BASW England written to minister over statutory duties. Letter co-signed with partner organisations seeks clarity over safeguarding. Published 21 April 2020
- Open letter calls for austerity policies to be rolled back as part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Austerity Action Group is calling for decade long austerity policies to be rolled back as part of the response to the Covid-19. 24 April 2020
- BASW England urges government to withdraw statutory instrument which ‘risks the welfare and rights of children’ The welfare and safeguarding of children is undermined by The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020. Published 01 May 2020
- Continue to work with leaders from Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Department for Education (DfE) and Social Work England to raise the issues and challenges that social workers are experiencing
- BASW joined academics and sector leaders call for COVID-19 Wellbeing Taskforce.
- Working around the UK to raise the issues with policy and government leaders in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- Responding to the Coronavirus Act 2020, sharing social work briefings and government submissions. We are continuing to explore the impact of these important changes and will ensure we protect and support the needs of social workers and the people that use services
- Spoke out in the media on the issues social workers are facing, including BBC broadcast, trade press and regional news.
We are meeting the professional needs of social workers - to support the resilience and confidence of the workforce through Covid-19.
- Developed a hub of resources, information and guidance for social work during the pandemic, including Ethical guidance, digital capabilities framework, home visits guidance, children and families social work, hospital social work with adults, End of Life social work and resources for AMHP and independent social workers - plus new webinars.
- Shared best practice on what is working during the pandemic.
- Shared wellbeing resources.
- Building public perception of social work
Our BASW teams continue to serve our members, with all services continuing as normal but managed in a slightly different way.
- Adapted our services to respond to membership needs, such as the advice and representation service to support members with professional advice and guidance.
- Set up our membership team to be on hand to talk directly to our members with any membership 1-1 queries and support members using the membership online hub
- We have set up remote meetings for our branches, networks and groups, to connect together and with BASW and to provide pathways for members to feed into new policy such as the Coronavirus Act and new ways of working during the pandemic.
- Set up weekly forums to support social workers and to offer peer support, such as the new Independents virtual discussion events .
Priority areas that we continue to focus on are:
- Hygiene equipment, protective equipment and testing
- Consistent guidance on keeping social workers safe in the office
- Equipment for home working,
- Essential guidance on safety for home visits
- Guidance on essential and non-essential work, and the ethics of decision making
- Advice on how to meet essential work flexibly, including community support
- Clarity about accountability if we cannot meet needs
- Social work advocacy about upholding human rights
- Resource for additional service provision
- Clarity about how additional social workers can enter the workforce
- Clarity about what this means for students’ qualification and jobs
- Support for independents, locums and agency staff
- Support for vulnerable young people, families and adults that may not have adequate access to food supplies,
- Accessibility to information and who are isolated, placed out of borough or in semi-independent living.
- Asylum seeking children, young people or adults and people who do not speak or read English
View BASW updates during coronavirus:
BASW vlog update. BASW member and Council member Julia Ross joins Ruth Allen CEO BASW in conversation for our latest update. Date published 29 May 2020
BASW Statement on the latest evidence of Covid-19 in care homes. Date published 29 May 2020
Social workers could be overwhelmed when children return to school. Date published 29 May 2020
Immigration Bill surcharge - update. We have joined other organisations to work in partnership on a joint letter to Priti Patel MP and Matthew Hancock MP to ask to ensure that this change is applied in a way that will truly benefit the people who work in health and social care on whom we all rely. Date published 29 May 2020
The role of social workers in a pandemic and its aftermath: learning from Covid-19. BASW professional social work practice guidance. Date published 28 May 2020
SWU blog: Concern for reduction in social work referrals. Date published 28 May 2020
BASW Statement: Government Abandons Health Surcharge. Date published 22 May 2020
BASW Chair Gerry Nosowska joins BASW CEO Ruth Allen for our latest vlog update. Hear from Ruth and Gerry in conversation on all things social work including the importance of wellbeing, reflections on the recovery phases of the pandemic and the ongoing concerns raised by social workers - plus BASW updates and more! Date published 22 May 2020
The points-based immigration proposals are a concern for the future availability of social workers and our hugely valued, skilled care colleagues. BASW responds as the Government re-introduces the new Immigration Bill to Parliament. Date published 18 May 2020
Reforms to Unregulated Provision for Children in Care and Care Leavers Survey. BASW England consults on DfE proposals. Published 15 May 2020
BASW supports international partners in battle against Covid-19. BASW commits £30,000 to support international social work partners in the fight against Covid 19. Published 15 May 2020
Mental Health Awareness Week May 18th – 24th: ‘This is for all of us’ Blog by Ruth Allen, CEO BASW. Published 15 May 2020
BASW Statement: Domestic Abuse and Covid-19. Published 13 May 2020
‘No public health without social health’. Social work’s role in public health is not well recognised and does not seem to be an embedded part of national public health thinking or strategy. We have now received responses to letters sent to both Clara Swinson (Director General for Public and Global Health and DHSC) and Yvonne Doyle (Medical Director for Public Health England). Published 13 May 2020
SWU Blog: Please join SWU and donate to the SWBT. General Secretary of the Social Workers Union (SWU) John McGowan urges social workers to do what they can, if they can. Published 13 May 2020
Lockdown exit plans should put safety, fairness and human rights first. BASW and SWU respond to the Westminster Government’s announcement to ease some lockdown measures. 11 May 2020
Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director and Director for Health Protection responds to BASW England letter that highlighted the ongoing concerns being raised by social workers, including shortage of PPE and asks for a clearer understanding of people's vulnerability to Covid-19 including why BAME health and care workers are disproportionately affected. Read the Director and Director for Health Protection response here. 11 May 2020
- BASW England will continue to call for answers and monitor the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on social worker and the communities we work within.
Vlog update from BASW CEO Ruth Allen. Week 5 of the BASW weekly video update by Ruth Allen BASW CEO during Covid-19. Published 7 May 2020
Ethical Challenges for Social Workers During COVID-19. BASW would like to invite you to participate in research conducted by the International Federation of Social Workers and an international social work ethics research group, consisting of academics from a number of countries, including the UK. Date published 04 May 2020
John McGowan, General Secretary of the Social Workers Union (SWU) provides an overview of the importance of whistleblowing in the workplace and shares helpful advice and guidance. Published 01 May 2020
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group: seeking BASW members to join. Your voice matters and we are keen to hear from individuals who are passionate and have experience in this area. Published 01 May 2020
Vlog update from BASW CEO Ruth Allen. Week 4 of the BASW weekly video update by Ruth Allen BASW CEO during Covid-19. Published 1 May 2020
Issued an open letter to the Director General for Global and Public Health, Department of Health and Social Care to raise significant gaps in Public Health guidance for social workers during the Covid-19 crisis in relation to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
BASW Statement: Care Homes, Personal Assistants and Covid-19. BASW urge a joined-up, comprehensive response by the government to address these issues. Date published 29 April 2020
Upholding Human Rights during Covid-19. The pandemic is exposing great inequality in impact and in human rights protection across the UK. BASW sets out urgent concerns and demands on upholding Human Rights during Covid-19. Published 27 April 2020
Quick Guide: Self-care for Social Workers during Covid-19. This quick guide is designed to support social workers with ideas and strategies for self-care. Published 27 April 2020
Face to Face Visit Checklist During Covid-19. Published 27 April 2020
Vlog update from BASW CEO Ruth Allen. Ruth Allen provides a video update of the ongoing work of BASW throughout Covid-19. Published 24 April 2020
BASW Statement on The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020. BASW sets out its key actions in light of the regulations publication. Published 24 April 2020
BASW and SWU support the call for the remembrance of health and social care workers who have lost their lives during COVID-19. Every year on April 28th, all around the globe the trade union movement unites to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day. Published 24 April 2020
Open letter calls for austerity policies to be rolled back as part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Austerity Action Group is calling for decade long austerity policies to be rolled back as part of the response to the Covid-19. 24 April 2020
BASW England responds to BBC article on vulnerable children not attending school. Article included statement from Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield that social workers should be “knocking on doors” Published 22 April 2020
BASW's thank you to social workers and all key workers. Poster to download and display to thank social workers and all key workers. Published 22 April 2020
Tell us what is happening in children’s services. A partnership poll with several children’s charities seeks to gather intelligence from the frontline to take to Government. Published 22 April 2020
COSW highlights crisis for social work during pandemic. A report on COSW’s first ever virtual meeting and the issues raised. Published 21 April 2020
BASW England writes to minister over statutory duties. Letter co-signed with partner organisations seeks clarity over safeguarding. Published 21 April 2020
COSW highlights crisis for social work during pandemic. A report on COSW’s first ever virtual meeting and the issues raised. Published 21 April 2020
End of Life social work during Covid-19. Professional practice guidance for End of Life Social Work during Covid-19 Pandemic. BASW Published 20th April 2020
BASW CEO Ruth Allen provides a video update of the ongoing work of BASW throughout Covid-19. Published 17 April 2020
Professional practice guidance for hospital social work with adults during Covid-19. BASW guidance to prepare for face to face social work in hospitals. Published 17 April 2020.
BASW joins academics and sector leaders call for COVID-19 Wellbeing Taskforce. Margaret Holloway, Emeritus Professor of Social Work, University of Hull and Editor for the British Journal of Social Work on the call for a Covid 19 wellbeing taskforce. Date published 15 April 2020
Recognition for Social Work is especially meaningful during the COVID-19 pandemic. SWU general secretary, John McGowan, blog on the need for more respect for social workers during this pandemic. Date published 15 April 2020
Changing BASW to support you through the pandemic. The coronavirus crisis has inevitably meant that BASW has had to change how we prioritise our work, deliver our services and represent the profession. Published 09 April 2020
By being members, we are all making a difference and helping our fellow social workers. I know we will keep supporting and encouraging each other. Message to BASW members by Gerry Nosowska, BASW chair. Published 09 April 2020
High quality and person-centred advanced care planning (ACP) is a vital means of promoting personal dignity at the end of life. BASW comments on recent press reports of misuse of ACP and of Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) notices being issued inappropriately. Published 09 April 2020.
Professional practice guidance for Children and Families Social Work during Covid-19 Pandemic. Published 08 April 2020.
Supporting members with professional advice and guidance during Covid-19. The A&R team is here to offer support during Covid-19 with FAQs. Published 08 April 2020
Gaps in infection prevention and PPE advice and requirements for social workers - Open letter to the Director General for Global and Public Health, Department of Health and Social Care
Gerry Nosowska BASW Chair and Dr Ruth Allen, BASW CEO have issued an open letter to the Director General for Global and Public Health, Department of Health and Social Care BASW to raise significant gaps in Public Health guidance for social workers during the Covid-19 crisis in relation to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Published 06 April 2020
Professional practice guidance for home visits during Covid-19 Pandemic.To help social workers and their employers manage the risks of home visits during the Covid-19 risk. Published 03 April 2020
Covid-19 Pandemic – Ethical Guidance for Social Workers. Responding to the very specific circumstances generated by COVID-19. Published 01 April 2020
The Coronavirus Act 2020 and Social Work Practice - A Briefing. Published 01 April 2020
BASW calls on the Prime Minister to provide essential PPE and guidance for social workers and include as priority group for testing. BASW Chair and CEO issue an open letter to Prime Minister to support social workers. Published 1 April 2020
BASW statement on the loss of a social worker to COVID-19. Southwark Council reports sad news. Published 1 April 2020
BASW and SCIE launch digital capabilities framework and resources for social workers, employers and educators. Supporting social workers’ digital capabilities. Published 27 March 2020
Voices of 1200 social workers through BASW Covid-19 survey set agenda for safety and effective practice during pandemic. Overview of the findings and the actions BASW is taking. Published 25 March 2020
Supporting autistic adults and adults with learning disabilities during coronavirus outbreak. Joint statement by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE). Published 25 March 2020
Students need to be given the opportunities and support to make the choices they want to make about placements in these uncertain times.. BASW calls for co-ordinated action. Published 25 March 2020
BASW is continuing to work with partners to raise your key COVID-19 concerns. Ruth Allen CEO BASW provides an update on our work to raise your issues with key partners. Published 23 March 2020
The Coronavirus Bill- an update. BASW has written to ministers to set out pressing issues for consideration in relation to the Bill. Published 23 March 2020
Social workers are key workers / critical workers Published 20 March 2020
The Coronavirus Bill: The Response from BASW. BASW'’s initials calls are set out. Published 20th March 2020
Update from BASW Council. Gerry Nosowska BASW chair provides an update. Published 20th March 2020.
Social workers vital role must be urgently recognised and resourced throughout COVID-19 crisis. BASW’s latest press release. Published 19th March 2020.
Information on BASW events during coronavirus (Published 13th March 2020)
See also updates from across the UK nations: